Since hip-hop’s inception in the late 1970s in the burrow of the Bronx, a vast culture swept the nation and turned rappers into modern day rock stars. The late East Coast legend Christopher Wallace, better known for his oxymoron stage name “Biggie Smalls,” is still regarded as an upper echelon rapper whose place in history is solidified. The late Tupac Shakur or spelled “2Pac” is a West Coast legend and also sits in the same upper echelon as Smalls. The debate has always been East Coast vs. West Coast, but what about the South?
T.D.E. West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar gave his fans and the world an iconic verse for generations to come on fellow rapper Big Sean’s song “Control.” One of Lamar’s bars read as follows, I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York, King of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both” (as posted on rap genius). Lamar states that he is the king of the coast, the coast he is referring to the west coast and also that he is the king of New York, often referred to as the mecca of hip-hop. In the era of 2Pac and Biggie, there was a movement in the South of quality artist’s and groups such as Goodie Mob, Outkast, UGK, Scarface, Devin the Dude, Project Pat, 8Ball, Bun B, 3 6 Mafia, & MJG etc. This movement was authentic southern music that let the East and West Coast know that the South was a new competitor. Over any period of time society advances and the saying that history repeats it’s self plays a role today especially in hip-hop music.
In the year 2014 there are new rap stars representing their coasts entirely. Movements on the West Coast such as T.D.E., Odd Future, & Funk Volume bring back quality music to the West Coast. East Coast or better known as the “Beast Coast” movement led by Pro Era, A$AP Mob, and the Flatbush Zombies has really brought back a classic East Coast sound. The South should also be on the same page as the East and West, but they are not.
The South is marked as slow and not up to par as far as quality music is concerned. Rappers and music is often described to as “ratchet” and not uplifting, especially to the youth. This type of music and culture has digressed the South, the digression can be seen in a long forgotten southern mecca of Atlanta. The South still produce’s quality artists, but the city refuses to support them such as Childish Gambino and Funk Volume’s Jarren Benton. As long as the South continues to uplift this negative movement in hip-hop then this devolution will continue until there is nothing left. The question is who will truly bring the South back on the map in rap game?
Sean, Big. “Control” rapgenius.com. 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 5 Mar 2014.